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Faculty receive national honors

Lisa Schultz | Tuesday, April 19, 2005

It may seem strange that a reward for teachers producing outstanding work is the opportunity to take a break from teaching. However, fellowship awards enable Notre Dame professors Asma Afsaruddin, Ke-Hai Yuan and Theresa Delgadillo to do just that.

A Carnegie Scholars Fellowship of $100,000 from the Carnegie Corporation of New York will allow Afsaruddin, associate professor of Arabic and Islamic studies in the classics department and fellow in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, to conduct 18 months of research. She plans to spend the 2006-07 school year writing the manuscript for her book “Striving in the Path of God: Discursive Traditions on Jihad and the Cult of Martyrdom.”

“By putting my research out in the public sphere, I hope to further empower those voices which have protested the annexation of the term ‘jihad’ by radical militants and denounced it as a gross departure from the classical tradition,” Afsaruddin said.

Delgadillo, who is an assistant professor of English with a specialization in Latino literary and cultural studies, entered into a national competition to win the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Award.

Administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (WWNFF), the award honored Delgadillo for assisting “talented junior faculty to pursue scholarly research and writing over a year’s time so they can attain tenure more easily.”

Delgadillo is working on a book entitled “Spiritual Mestizaje: Religion, Race, Gender and (Trans)Nation in Contemporary Chicana Narrative.”

According to Delgadillo, this work “examines transnational feminism and memory in the spiritual mestizaje of Chicana fiction, documentary film and digital murals.”

Associate professor of quantitative psychology Yuan was awarded a $32,000 fellowship by the James McKeen Cattell Fund, which will be used to accomplish Yuan’s goal to “develop better methodology for dealing with missing data and messy data” in psychology.

Yuan’s focus on psychometric theory and multivariate statistics ultimately aims to “make the measuring and analyzing of psychological phenomenon more precise so that human characteristics are better understood” and “make the psychology more like a science, not just fortune tellers.”